The Dangers of Not Tracking your Progress, aka, the “Ostrich Problem”

Do you track your progress?
If not you may be a subject of the “Ostrich Problem” – (image above source: This phenomenon is “the widespread tendency for people to avoid information about progress towards their goals” (source). This phenomenon is a psychological roadblock that causes most of us to fall behind in realizing how much progress we are or aren’t making. The avoidance of progress is often fueled by fear. For example, if you go to the gym twice a week but fail to realize your exercise regime is less than average, it is easier to regard yourself as a fit and active person than recognize you’re failing to provide yourself with any substantial progress. A fix may be to start recording your weight or BMI.

Feedback may be disappointing at first, and even may deter you from your goal, but with time it is something constructive and helpful to maintaining your goal. Fortunately we can overcome these habits with some insight on where to focus our motivation.

  • Remind yourself, it’s okay to mess up, none of us are perfect, and recognizing your failures helps you maintain a stable mindset on how to proceed.
  • Ask a colleague, friend or family member to give you some feedback, this will allow you to keep yourself in check when monitoring your progress.
  • Lastly, learn to forgive yourself, and grow from your mistakes, these setbacks can only propel you forward in the end.

How about you? What do you do to keep track of your goals?